Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Ten "Fun" Things They Don't Tell You About Being Pregnant

I've watched my sister, Becky, go through two pregnancies (and now a third: congrats!). I took a class on childhood development and psychology for my major at school. I've heard stories, read books, and watched movies and TV shows about pregnancy and birth because the subject has always fascinated me. When I found out I was pregnant, I thought I was prepared for all of the coming changes. Morning sickness? Crackers by the bed for before I even get out from under the covers. Healthy diet? No caffeine, I didn't drink it anyway! Fatigue? I'll go to bed earlier.

I may have been off to a good start, maybe even a better start than a few others, but I had NO. IDEA. what was coming for the next nine months. So in hopes of helping some of you to not be too shocked when strange and unexpected things occur in your future pregnancies, I've come up with a list of "fun" things they don't tell you about being pregnant. However, all of these things don't necessarily happen to everyone, as every pregnancy is different. That being said, read on! And just a fair warning: Some of this may be TMI.

1. A positive is a positive.

This one may seem like a no brainer, and I actually did know this, but not everyone does! When you pee on that stick, if there is a second line, no matter how faint, the test is positive. You are pregnant (there are a few instances where this may not the case, but false positives are extremely rare). This doesn't mean you need to shine a bright flashlight behind the test just to "make sure" there isn't a line (guilty) or go dig an old test out of the garbage to double check (bad idea, you could confuse an evaporation line, a colorless line left over after urine evaporates, for a positive line). Test in a few days and the line should be darker. Your HCG levels, the hormone home pregnancy tests detect, double every two or three days, causing a darker line when you test a bit later.
These were my first two tests - super faint, but they were positive!

2. Morning sickness is not restricted to the morning.

It can come at any time, day or night. My morning sickness (or HG in my case) comes in waves about every two hours, but is at it's worse around 10:00 A.M and 6:00 P.M.

3. Your first ultrasound will probably be transvaginal (meaning your doc is going to need to put a magic wand in your cave of wonders in order to see your jelly bean).

Baby is usually too small to be seen from above early on. Because I have been so sick, I have already had six ultrasounds to check on baby (ridiculous I know, but every time you're hospitalized for HG, they have to do an ultrasound). My most recent one was done when I was eight weeks and three days, and I still needed to have it done transvaginally.

4. You may not just crave food, you may not just crave strange food may crave food you hate. You may also start to hate food that you love.

I started my pregnancy as a vegetarian. My first few weeks of pregnancy, all I wanted was a t-bone steak slathered in mayonnaise. Not only strange and disgusting, but something I would have gagged at pre-pregnancy.

5. More than just the smell of food can make you sick.

If you're already nauseated, stay away from foul smells, no matter how strong of a stomach you had pre-pregnancy. For me, I have to try to steer clear of people notorious for bad breath (horrible, I know). I have had to run out of a conversation to throw up a couple of times, and it's not fun, nor easy to come up with an excuse for what set you off in that situation!

6. You will produce more snot and boogers than a two-year-old with a runny nose.

I am not kidding. The amount of kleenex I go through in a day is absurd.

7. Those boogers will more than likely be accompanied by blood.

I am also not kidding. Women have increased blood volume during pregnancy, so apparently, it's normal.

8. Your vision may change.

Ophthalmologists advise that you don't get vision correction surgery or change your prescription during pregnancy, or for a few months after delivery because more often than not, the change isn't that great, and your vision goes back to normal. However, some vision changes (especially double vision, blurry vision, seeing spots, temporary vision loss, etc.) can be signs of preeclampsia, a rare but dangerous condition. If you have any vision changes, call your doctor. It's better to be safe than sorry. Find out more here.

9. You will bloat. And bloat. And bloat.

I was prepared to have a nice, big baby bump later on in my pregnancy. I was not prepared to have a permanent "food baby bump" starting at about five weeks. Blame the hormone progesterone for this one. It relaxes smooth muscle tissue, slowing down your digestive tract so that baby can absorb more of the nutrients from the foods you eat. Progesterone is also responsible for all that burping and gas passing you've been experiencing lately. You can find more good information about bloating and gas during pregnancy here.

10. You might have more hot flashes than a woman in menopause.

My mother is practically famous for her hot flashes, but I could definitely give her a run for her money right now! Dress in layers to help combat perceived drastic temperature changes, and blame it all on the hormones.

These are just a few of the strange things that I've been experiencing since finding out about the little jelly bean in my tummy. Did I miss any big ones? What strange things have happened to you or someone you know?

Have a happy and healthy pregnancy!


1 comment:

  1. Bloody gums! Apparently your gums are more sensitive when pregnant so practically every time I brushed my teeth my gums would bleed. And near the end when your baby drops and your bladder is smooshed no one told me that I would pee a little when I sneezed, laughed or coughed. Get a supply of pantiliners lol! Thank goodness that's at the last bit of your pregnancy! Its funny how the foods I ate a ton of during pregnancy I hardly touch now. I ate at least five clementines a day and now they don't interest me at all!